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Bhullar wins Fiji International after dramatic final day

Bhullar won his 9th Asian Tour title. (Photo: PGA Tour of Australasia)
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar has today won his 9th Asian Tour title with a dramatic victory at the Fiji International at Natadola Bay Golf Club.  

Bhullar held off a spirited challenge from the talented Queensland based Anthony Quayle whose final round of 63 got him into the lead at 13 under before Bhullar pitched in for eagle from just short of the green at the par 5 17th allowing the 30 year old to take a one shot lead to the final hole.

A scoring discrepancy actually had Quayle in the lead by two when he finished his round but the scoring coming into the scoring centre and the television compound was wrong and he was just one ahead before the eagle from Bhullar.

When Quayle was playing the 17th, the young man carrying his banner board and visible on screen with his group had it right at 11 under but it was not picked up by the television team.

They therefore continued on the basis that Quayle was at 12 under and when he eagled the 17th he had moved to 14 under and two ahead and in some eyes the tournament was all but over.

When Quayle officially signed his card however it became apparent his 72 hole total was 13 under par and with Bhullar’s eagle at the 17th he was now one behind.

Quayle began the day four shots off Bhullar’s lead and made steady progress through the opening nine holes before delivering an onslaught from the 11th, playing the next seven holes in 7 under par to move ahead of the field.

Playing two groups behind and in the final three-ball, Bhullar played the outward nine in 33 and appeared to be in control although Quayle, New Zealand’s Ben Campbell and tournament marquee player Ernie Els were making their moves.

The Indian golfer holed a very important par saving putt at the 10th and would then birdie the 13th before the crucial eagle at the 17th.  

He was able to par the last to win by one over Quayle with another shot back to Els and Campbell.

Unfortunately for Bhullar the event now no longer carries an automatic graduation to the European Tour but the A$195,000 will earns will move him to 4th on the 2018 Asian Tour money list.

“This is the first time I'm here in Fiji and I've enjoyed every bit of it, great hospitality, great people, said Bhullar.  “I think this week was something really special and I could definitely feel it, a victory coming my way.  Lately I've been playing really well, been giving myself a lot of good finishes and I think the momentum was getting ready to win like this.”

Quayle finished on his own in 2nd position one shot ahead of Campbell and Els with Jarryd Felton another two shots back in 5th position.

Quayle continued what has been an impressive start to his professional career. He turned professional just over 18 months ago and has regularly played well on both the Australasian and Japan Golf Tours with numerous top tens including a runner-up finish at the Crowns event in Japan.

This week however he would secure his biggest cheque (US$102,000) continuing to impress those who have watched the quality of his play and his outstanding approach on the golf course.

Anthony Quayle

Quayle enjoyed the day for several reasons. Obviously winning his biggest cheque was important but so too was the opportunity to play with one of his idols. “That was pretty awesome out there.  I got to play with Ernie and played a pretty awesome back nine there. I'm pretty happy with it regardless of the finish.”

I wasn't actually sure, like, what my score was on the back nine because everything was happening so quickly,” added Quayle when asked about the confusion with scoring. "I actually asked Scotty after 13, I noticed the scoreboard."  

“I didn't think I was that low. I asked Scotty Quayle's caddie) and he corrected it.  He's like, you're at ‑‑ I don't know, whatever we were at the time.  Coming in, we knew what I was. I actually told the scorer and, yeah, I'm not too sure.”

The Asian Tour is in India next for the Take Solutions Masters in Bangalore while for the PGA Tour of Australasia it will next play the Northern Territory PGA Championship in two week's time.

RULES: IDENTIFYING UNMARKED BALL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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